Dhokra, also called “Lost-Wax” casting technique, is one of the most ancient forms of metal casting methods of Odisha. It is a traditional technique known to have been used in the making of several artefacts dating back to ancient times.
The Dhokra metal is an alloy of brass, nickel and zinc that gives an antique effect to the castings. The products of Dhokra artisans are in great demand in domestic and foreign markets because of the enchanting folk motifs and the forceful form they have.
A brief history:
To understand the unique Dhokra jewellery, it is important to apprehend a short history of the metal casting technique. Origins of Dhokra dates back to over 4000 years. It is amongst the oldest traditional techniques of metal casting dates back to pre-historic times of the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro Civilizations. This technique of casting non-ferrous metals was popular in the ancient regions of the present-day West Bengal and Odisha. The lost-wax technique or Dhokra technique is an extensive, long metal casting process. Entirely handcrafted, the unique thirteen stage process of Dhokra metal making is still popular in few villages of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
Chief Features of Dhokra Jewelry:
Dhokra technique that we know today has been handed down over several generations. The art-pieces and jewellery are made of a single piece of metal; hand-crafted by skilled metalsmiths. Due to the intricate detailing, making of a single Dhokra product might take months. Dhokra jewellery is made of non-ferrous metals, which the reason behind the fact that they don’t easily rust or corrode.
Unlike the machine-made metal jewellery, Dhokra jewellery lacks the mirror-image symmetry and this is what makes them all so unique. The jewellery pieces mainly focus on minimalistic themes of nature, folk-art or tribal variants. Earlier, motifs used were mostly of gods and goddesses, floral shapes and rustic designs. Dhokra jewellery and other Dhokra art -pieces have a possibility of becoming an endangered handicraft as of now, but they are gaining steady popularity all over the world.
The unique technique used to cast the metal gives the jewel a vintage look. The unique color of the metal and the finesse in detailing make the jewels so popular.
Styling Dhokra jewellery is easy due to the versatility of the traditional handicraft. According to the current trend report, vintage and antique jewellery are a huge thing this season, and they are here to stay. So, they are a perfect option for you if you want to make a unique statement.
Owing to their non-lustrous matte finish, Dhokra jewellery blends perfectly well with any outfit. Starting from casual wear to a very formal look, Dhokra jewellery looks great with any kind of outfit.
If you pair it with a traditional outfit, the classy jewel will smoothly complement the traditional look. A heavy choker will look amazing with your salwar-suit while a long rani-haar will do justice to your saree look. If heavy jewellery is not your thing, then you can go for minimalistic earrings, a simple long chain or a classic Kada on one hand.
You could also don it with western wear to make a style statement. Nowadays, they are available in several contemporary designs. You can choose to wear a statement square pendant with your formals or opt for a multi-layered chain with a solid bodycon dress.
You can even flaunt the craft in a very subtle way. There are Dhokra buttons and cufflinks available, which let you wear Dhokra without going overboard.
The simplicity of the jewellery and anti-rust nature makes it a great choice for daily wear. You can even wear a simple anklet or bracelet for a simpler look.
The art of Dhokra Jewelry making is passed down from one generation to another and is a creative and contemporary expression of an ancient technique. Today’s craftsmen have given the Art of Dhokra Jewellery a stylish and international ‘avatar’ that goes brilliantly with both ethnic and international style. So, style your Dhokra jewellery according to your style!